I have always hated 'exercise'. I've never seen the point! It hurts. It hurts my muscles, it hurts my joints and it hurts my lungs. And it always has. Ever since I was a child. And I hated running round the playground in my knickers and vest with my bloated little hypo tummy hanging out. I could never keep up with the others and always lost whatever we played.
Then when I went to the secondary school, we still had to run around the playground in our knickers and vests, tossing balls - netball, rounders, whatever, it was all the same to me, I hated it all. And what was worse, now that we were 'big' girls, all the local dirty old men used to hang around the school railings to watch. It was so humiliating!
My worst memories hang around the weekly 'games' lesson - not what I would call a 'lesson' at all, we didn't learn anything useful - when we were taken in a stinking old coach, with a sign up front saying 'spitting is prohibited' to a muddy or frozen field where we were given lethal weapons called 'lacross sticks'. How nobody ever got killed I shall never know! It was almost impossible to control the bloody things. They waved around dangerously in the air as we tried to catch or throw the ball, with girls running all around you, pushing and shoving... A nightmare! But the only time that a girl got hit, it had to be me that hit her! I didn't do it deliberately. I didn't even know she was there. How could I see her? I didn't have eyes in the back of my head. But there she was. And as I waved my stick perilously backwards in a vain attempt to throw the ball, it came in contact with her head. Everyone looked at me as if it were my fault, but I just said, well, I shouldn't have been there in the first place! I didn't want to play Lacross!
But I've played them all: tennis, cricket, baseball, basket ball... And I've hated them all! I don't want to go running round after a ball like a demented dog! I'd far rather have a nice game of cards. That doesn't hurt and I usually win. But ball games.... Not for me.
Then, one year, there was this girl in my class who was the envy of us all. She had a boyfriend! None of us did. He was tall and athletic and oh so good looking. Sigh. Swoon. And then, one day, he died of a heart attack. And I said that's it, I'm not running round after a ball ever again. And I didn't - I haven't - I won't.
One hears of so many football players, athletes and the like dying of heart attacks that it really does make you wonder. And no doubt they all had terribly 'healthy' diets. And if they don't die of a heart attack, they retire and run to fat, so you wonder, was it all worth it? Well, there was the money, but apart from that? I suppose they enjoyed it, something I've never been able to do, but I enjoyed being a barmaid - à chaque un son gout!
So now my idea of winter sport is knitting by the fire, with the occasional trip to the fridge for a sandwich or two. With all my unhealthy eating and sedentary life style at least I didn't die of a heart attack at sixteen. So I'm not going to change now at my time of life. No marathons for me. If I want to go to London, I'll go in the car! I'm not suggesting anyone else follow my lead, but it works for me and that's all that counts.